MANILA, Philippines – The enhanced southwest monsoon (habagat) was the cause of heavy rains on Sunday night, triggering evacuation in low-lying areas in Metro Manila and nearby areas, the state weather bureau said.
PAGASA forecaster Fernando Cada said the southwest monsoon was enhanced by tropical storm Haikui located near southern Japan and was outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
“Nagkataon lumakas ang habagat that time at yung mga kaulapan ay halos hinahatak ng bagyo, although malayo naman ang bagyong si tropical storm Haikui na sa may part ng southern Japan. Malayo iyun at hindi na pumasok sa PAR,” Cada told dzMM.
Cada said the monsoon season is at its peak during August, which explains the continuous rains over the past days in Luzon.
“May terminology na kung saan ang tawag diyan ay siyam-siyam, ngayon kasi ay may dere-deretsong pag ulan, partikular dito sa Luzon, lalo na sa Metro Manila. Talagang sustained o well established ang habagat,” he said.
At 7:20 a.m. PAGASA issued a yellow warning signal over Metro Manila which means moderate to heavy (3 to 10 millimeters per hour) of rains were observed and expected within the next three hours.
Cada said monsoon rains may persist the entire week.
He warned residents in low-lying areas to seek evacuation especially at around noon where flooding is expected due to combined effects of strong rains and high tide.
La Mesa dam, Marikina river
Meanwhile, the gateless La Mesa dam in Quezon City has reached its spilling level, resulting in the evacuation of some residents living around it.
As of 6 a.m., PAGASA said water level at La Mesa dam was already at its spilling level of 80.15 meters.
Residents of Barangays North Fairview, Sta. Lucia, Fairview, Novaliches Proper, Capri, Nagkaisang Nayon, Gulod, Bagbag and San Bartolome were told to evacuate.
PAGASA said Ambuklao, Binga and San Roque dams were also releasing water as of 6 a.m.
Meanwhile, second alarm level was raised in Marikina City after the water level in Marikina River rose due to heavy rains.
Authorities said as of 4 a.m., the river’s water level was at 16.3 meters above sea level.
Forced evacuation will be implemented if the water level in the river reaches 18 meters.